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First, a little bit of the boring stuff to get you prepared! What is ABA?

I say, "No!" to mentalistic constructs & explanatory fictions!
I say, "No!" to mentalistic constructs & explanatory fictions!

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, fascinating, and aw-revealing results, I want everyone to have a basic knowledge of applied behavior analysis (ABA)! Here is the sort-of "snore-factor" concepts that I will be using throughout my future articles! Feel free to skim this and return to it as you read some of my content later on!

**I do disclose that my topics and findings have NOT been conducted in a laboratory, and do require further study, replication, and experimentation. My articles (for now) are merely a glimpse of curiosity meets a behavior analyst and her search to take a crack at relationships, dating, and self-managment in a way that hasn't been researched into very much! This will be fun!

Now, for the not-so-fun (unless you are a behavioralist), yet important, details!

Definitions and Whatnot:
Applied behavior Analysis (ABA) is the attempt to solve behavior problems by providing antecedent and/or consequences that change behavior. ABA owes no affiliation with a particular intervention, rather it is a scientific problem-solving approach aimed at producing socially significant behavior change and improving quality of life for individuals, families and communities. (Cooper, J.O., Heward, W.L., Heron, T.E. 2007.)

4 Functions of Behavior

Antecedents, Behaviors, & Consequences (Oh My!)

Antecedents: Environmental events that occur before a behavior.

Behavior: An observable and measurable act an organism does, including covert (unseen) actions (like thinking, dreaming, etc). Behavior is not limited to challenging behaviors, rather behavior applies to all observable and measurable acts emitted by a living organism (e.g. breathing, eating, singing, yelling, laughing, reading, running, etc.).

Consequences: Environmental events that occur after a behavior, these may be planned events (such as a time out when a child tantrums in a store) or unplanned events (items on shelf all over store floor) that may have an impact on maintaining a particular behavior of concern. Consequences are not only "negative" in nature. In the field of ABA, the term consequence also includes "positive" responses to a behavior, that occur after the behavior. For example, if a child is promised that they can have dessert after dinner and they eat all of their dinner, "having access to dessert" is a consequence.

Characteristics of Science
Description: "consists of a collection of facts about the observed events that can be quantified, classified, and examined for possible relations with other known facts - a necessary and important activity for any scientific discipline" (p 3).

Prediction: "in the presence of one event (e.g. approaching winter) another event occurs (or fails to occur) with some specified probability (e.g. certain birds fly south for the winter)" (p 3).

Control: "The ability to predict with a certain degree of confidence is a valuable and useful result of science; prediction enables preparation" (p 4).

7 Dimensions of ABA
Generality: Behaviors are targeted in a way that desired change occurs in other environments.

Effective: Interventions are monitored to evaluate impact on target behaviors.

Technological: Procedures are described clearly and concisely so that others could implement. (Joe Schmo can walk in off of the streets, read the plan, and implement it without question.)

Applied: Socially significant (How much do you want them to really do. Is calling you “Twinkie” in public really that important or appropriate?)

Conceptually Systematic: The interventions are consistent with the principles of ABA.

Analytic: Decisions are data based (Do you know he’s cheating? Did you observe this? Or do you simply have a feeling? Collect observable and measurable data.)

Behavioral: Observable & measurable.

Attitudes of Science:
Determinism: "Scientists presume that the universe, or at least that part of it they intend to probe with the methods of science, is a lawful and orderly place in which all phenomena occur as the result of other events" (p 5).

Empiricism: "...the practice of objective observation. Every effort to understand, predict, and improve behavior hinges on the behavior analyst's ability to completely define, systematically observe, and accurately record occurrences and non-occurrences of the behavior of interest" (p 5).

Experimentation: "is the basic strategy of most sciences. When events are observed to covary or occur in close temporal sequence, a functional relation may exist, but other factors may be responsible for the observed values of the dependent variable" (p 5). "An experiment is a carefully conducted comparison of some measure of the phenomenon of interest (the dependent variable) under two or more different conditions in which only one factor at a time (the independent variable) differs from one condition to another" (p 6).

Replication: "the repeating of experiments (as well as repeating independent variable conditions within experiments)" (p 6).

Parsimony: "requires that all simple, logical explanations for the phenomena under investigation be ruled out experimentally before more complex or abstract explanations are considered" (p 6).

Philosophic Doubt: "requires the scientist to continually question the truthfulness of what is regarded as fact. Scientific knowledge must always be viewed as tentative, and the scientist must constantly be willing to replace with new discoveries even those facts of which he is most certain" (p 6).

Source: Cooper, J.O., Heward, W.L., Heron, T.E. (2007). Applied Behavior Analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.


These are just a few of the behaviors for reduction or increase that were expressed most often, and I will be attempting to operationally define these! These "behaviors" will have a bit more technical in there terminology and descriptions! Coming Soon!

Drunk Texting:
Inebriated Confessions:
Talking to Exes:
Talking to others:
Bad Habits:
Maintaining Mystery:
Gift Giving/Material Appreciation:
Communication over mobile/media:
Communication on Topics:
Time Together:
Commitment/Next Step Conversation:

Until we meet again!

Wow Adam Bettcher


More descriptions for these articles will come soon! I hope you enjoy taking a peek, and let me know what other interests are out there and what you would like to read about!

So Great!
So Great! ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

So Great!

More descriptions for these articles will come soon! I hope you enjoy taking a peek, and let me know what other interests are out there and what you would like to read about!

WooHoo! Justin Edmonds/Getty Images


More descriptions for these articles will come soon! I hope you enjoy taking a peek, and let me know what other interests are out there and what you would like to read about!